body talk

green hair, braid, the dainty squid, kaylah doolan

Body image is such a strange, strange thing. In my case, it can also be a very fragile thing. This post could go a thousand different ways but let’s start here…

I’d like to think that I know better than to be jealous of something I see on instagram. I know that most people out there aren’t purposely posting their less than flattering moments, that they’re really only posting when they look or feel good and that’s perfectly fine! It’s not that I want to revel in their ugly photos or anything. For me, it’s just so easy to get discouraged when I see beautiful person after beautiful person after beautiful person. Perfect body after perfect body. I know, and have briefly written about how one person’s beauty doesn’t take away from your own but some times it’s hard not to feel crappy. I’ve been struggling with that a little bit lately.

On top of this, Jeff and I went shopping together a week or two ago which should have been a fun thing but I left feeling a little bit blue.  I’ve found that most stores in the mall don’t really carry clothes that I would or can even wear. My local H&M is consistenly sold out of anything that isn’t a size 2 or 4. I rarely fit in Forever 21’s clothing and their plus size section is too big. It’s like there’s a gap of sizes that got left out. If I do magically fit in their clothing it’s obscenely short. Again, making it unwearable. Then when we went to Victoria Secret, where Jeff was so kindly offering to buy me something, they didn’t have my bra size.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s small fries. I don’t regularly shop at the mall nor did I really need anything but it’s hard to not feel discouraged. I felt like a giant. Like I was “too big” to be a woman. This is a super crappy feeling I deal with quite often. I am not a delicate flower. I have never been. In middle school I was proud to be bigger than all the boys. I was strong, and not to be messed with. Somewhere along the line I became self consious of my size. I wanted to be small, delicate, “feminine”, and perhaps most of all, shorter.

This whole flare up of feelings at the mall happened two or three days before I needed to take some photos for an “in kind” campaign I was doing with Athleta. That just means they sent me some clothing in exchange for photos. I had picked out two things I was super excited to wear – a striped sports bra + a cozy sweater. I picked the two of them together with a specific photo in mind that I would take. My deadline was approaching, and despite any negative feelings I was having toward my body, I had to get at least one photo.

I took a handful, not expecting too much. Wouldn’t you know it I LOVED what I was getting. I ran back in front of my camera, posed some more, and got even more photos I loved. Photos that made me feel good about my body. Photos that showed me my own body in a different light. That helped me remember how incredibe my body is. Maybe its not the thinnest, daintiest, petite thing but it’s a damn work of art. This body is strong. It houses all the good things I have inside me. Most importantly, it’s the only one I have.

So what if it will never grace the cover of a magazine? Ahem, I mean, I did that already. So what if it doesn’t garner attention from every dude on the internet? I don’t want that anyway. So what if I can’t buy cheap-o clothes from the mall? I should make smarter purchases, anyway. It’s like I’m intelligent enough to know that the reasons I want my body to look a certain way are stupid but still can’t help but sometimes feel like my body could be ‘better’.  Fitting into clothes from the mall wouldn’t make me happier. Being pestered by more men who only like the way I look certainly wouldn’t make me happier. So why do I feel this way sometimes? It makes no sense.

I guess I just wanted to write this post to 1) celebrate a time when I felt really happy with my body and 2) share that even the people you might look up to still struggle with the same things. It’s only human.

Quick run down of some important things –

  • The beauty of another does not take away from your own!
  • Everyone EVERYONE struggles with their appearance from time to time – even that human who you think is like the ultimate good lookin’ person! Chances are every once in a while they look in the mirror and think “who is that dingus?”
  • Taking selfies isn’t vain, sometimes it can be a really cathartic experience that will help you see things a little bit differently.
  • STOP COMPARING YOUR BODY TO OTHERS. Everyone is built different.
  • Not being petite doesn’t make you any less womanly or worth any less.
Bra + cardigan c/o Athleta.
Leggings by Girlfriend Collective. They are PURE MAGIC. Literal best leggings I have ever owned. They’re made from recycled water bottles. Plus they earn major points for using models with a variety of different body types.

Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • I love this post! You have perfectly described how I sometimes feel as well. It’s crazy how even though I am intelligent enough to know better, I can’t switch off that insecurity sometimes.

    • It sucks, and I hate that anyone feels that way but of course, it’s super comforting to hear that other people have those same feelings. <3

  • Thank you! Love this post. I got on the scales this morning and didn’t like the number that I saw. BUT, the reason I got on the scales for the first time in ages was that I thought my body was looking a little trimmer, that my healthy eating was paying off. So, now I’m thinking – what the heck does the number matter anyway. I’m feeling comfortable with where I am now. I also find it impossible to buy clothes in the ‘cheaper’ shops, the ones that maybe are designed for some idealised teenage girl (which I am not, BTW). I’m just off to buy some dungarees, they are more ‘me’ anyway – if guys don’t give me a second glance, I’m comfortable with that too – their loss!

    • Ohhh. Yeah, that number definitely doesn’t matter. I haven’t owned a scale my whole adult life. I think the most important measurement is how you feel.

    • GIRL The exact same thing happened to me yesterday. Everyone is telling me I’ve lost weight and I have dropped, not only a pants size but an OLD NAVY pants size…and I got on the scale and that friggin’ number hasn’t budged. WHAT?? I guess it’s ok because I feel good and I look better but COME ON!!!!! PS I love that you said dungarees. haha!

  • It was so nice to read what you have to say about this topic, and I have to say thank you. I recently was questioning my body once more and your words just made me realize I’m not alone. I am not alone with not being petite or easiely finding cloth at every store I visit in town. Thank you 😌🤞🏻

  • I can realy relate to this post. In most stores for me (as a quite tall girl) it is extremmly hard to find cloth the right lengh. Also recently I was questioning myself futher my body a lot. So I need tobsay thank you for your words, your opinion and experiences about this topic. It was so nive to read that I’m not alone and made me feel a bit better about myself so I just wanted to say Thank you 😌🤞🏻

  • I’ve been fighting with my body my whole life, man. You know that old saying “You’re never too fat for new shoes”? Well, I am. I can’t even buy shoes to cheer myself up when nothing fits because nothing fits on my man-sized feet either. A few years ago, I started eating better and I Crossfit and I am by no means thin but now I am at least in a place where I see what my height and size can do for me. Inside the gym, the thin girls are jealous of ME because I can move 175 pounds off the ground and over my head. And since I care more about what I can accomplish at the box, the opinions of the people there matter more to me than anywhere else. If I get a hairy eyeball at the mall, or feel bad about myself because some twig looks great in booty shorts, it bounces off me a little easier because I know I’d kill her behind a barbell. Ha! Not saying I don’t have my days but…like you and your bike…I have to remember what my body can do and I’m proud.
    PS if you want to feel delicate and short, I can send you that picture of us from the SOWA market 😀

    • YAAAS. Same thing as me and my bike, and same thing as the other commenter who mentioned roller derby helping them really love their body. My thighs aren’t scrawny but they sure can pedal the hell outta my bike.

  • This resonates a lot with me. I used to be extremely thin as a result of being very sick, and now I’m a normal sized person (albeit, a little bit bigger) and I’m so happy with my strong, healthy body most days. But there are some days that I get so down on myself for the exact same reasons you mentioned. (Hello F21, why do your shorts stop at 30″, then start back up again at 42″ for plus size?! Where is 32″?!) It’s hard for me to not think about how much easier clothes fit when I was sick and want to go back to that. What sane person wants the same body that just got out of the hospital just to fit into an XS again? It’s sick what body image can do to a person’s mental state. I’m glad that you found that spark to make you say, “I’m feeling myself”. And I definitely need to get my hands on that cardigan.

  • Omg. So many things I’m feeling right now. I actually own all three of those items- 80% of my yoga wardrobe is from athleta, and those GC leggings ARE ridiculously comfortable. RE: positive body image… I think you and I are shaped very similarly and GIRL, I’ve struggled with the same feelings. It’s hard being a curvy girl in a petite and slender girl’s world. I will say this- shopping at women’s stores and not junior’s makes a huge difference. But even then I have good days and bad days. And embrace your body for what it is: a power house! Kaylah, you are beautiful, and can rock green hair and overalls like no other. ❤️